4 Change Management Templates

by Elina D

What is Change Management?

Most people don’t like changes, regardless if it’s in their personal or professional life. The goal of the CM (Change Management) is to manage the changes to the organization, team, or individuals in respect to their business processes, SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), our IT systems.

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Change Management Template Excel

Change Management Plan Template Excel

When putting together a CM plan, the team must employ a structured approach to ensure that all the changes are successfully implemented. For this goal to be met, the following steps need to be followed –

1. Change Assessment: This step is twofold and includes characterizing the current situation and then assessing the required change to align the recipient with the new position. This is basically the stage of putting together the plan for the CM.

Check out article Change Competency Assessment.

2. Change Impacts: This step is done more or less in parallel with the previous step (Change Assessment), and its goal is to estimate how the organization will benefit from the change, who will be affected and how. This step should present the business justification of the change to the company’s management.

3. Stakeholder Engagement: Any change requires the full support and commitment of one or many key stakeholders. This steps’ goal is to get their full support for the change and ensure that they are kept in the loop regarding its progress.

Check out stakeholder engagement matrix.

4. Communication Plan: Keeping all those affected by the changes up to date regarding the change and its impact is crucial to its success. This step requires the CM team to plan how the changes will be communicated throughout the team/organization.

Check out Communications Management Plan.

5. Change Readiness: In this step, the CM team assesses whether the team/organization is ready to make the necessary changes. This is basically a go/no-go gate.

Check out our Change Readiness Assessment.

6. Role Mapping: In this step, the CM team map out the users of the new system/process/procedure and what they will be expected to do in their new roles. If any of the users require permissions to the new system, this step outlines them.

7. Writing Documents & SOP’s: This step documents all of the changes that were made to the organization, and also Training / KT (Knowledge Transfer): This step may be under the responsibility of a separate training team (depends on the organization). In this step, the CM team train the new users on how to operate the new system or use the new process.

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Change Request Template

Change requests, a.k.a CR’s, are changes to work scope for projects after they have started. Typically, change requests are seen as a hindrance as they disrupt the project team would have started the work and will be working towards a goal. Depending on the change requests, the project teams might have to alter their plans, which may cause rework or wastage of some of the work done. Change is the only constant, and that is true with projects. Seldom there are projects which don’t have change requests and which don't need Change Management Process.

The change requests can pop-up any time, and as a project manager, you need to have all the tools you need to handle the situation. The change request template is one of the most effective tools when it comes to managing change requests. Using a Change request provides a consistent approach to looking at the changes. Using a form ensures that all the data required for making the decision is captured, thereby making sure that a decision will be made. Senior management or managers who decide on CRs will know where to find information to make the decision. Helps in maintaining a documentation trail that can be used in the future for audit.

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Change Request Template

Typically, in the software industry, they are used when there are significant changes to how the project plan for the software being built is changed. Change requests can also be used when the system requirements change at a later stage, or omitted from the initial set of requirements. CR form should be used when the changes requested may impact the project KPI in any way. If the change is small and can be observed,, logging into the Change Request Log should be enough. One more common example is during the ,IT system testing, there might be a major bug, that might a review of the design.

The outcome of the review could be a full overhaul of the design,, requiring a change request to be logged. Conduct a brief meeting with the SME or project team to understand details. You will need to know the impact of the change, how much is the effort is, and what options you have. After the meeting or catch-up, you need to have a clear idea of how the change will impact – project schedule, scope, budget, quality, and any other impacts. Create a draft of the document and share it with a few experienced managers or SMEs to get feedback. Share with your manager to get his or her feedback.

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How to Identify a Scope Change or Change Request?

This is the most challenging task. Most of the time, the project team members will be so focused on the individual tasks that they fail to identify scope changes. As a project manager, it is your responsibility to identify scope changes. To identify scope changes, the project manager should be aware of the details of the project deliverable. The project manager also participates in scrum meetings, project meetings, technical workshops, etc, as the scope changes can come from different sources. The changes could come as part of internal team discussions, senior management feedback, and system users.

Internal changes or changes that arise from team discussions could come a from design reviews, code reviews, or team demos. Senior management can also provide feedback to ensure the deliverable is in line with the company's strategic goals. The system users may ask for changes after seeing a demo or prototype. Most of the time, the requester of the change is unaware of the impact of the change on the project schedule, and this is where a change management process is useful. The change could be required or optional. All the stakeholders of the project should be aware of any changes to the project. In the next step, we will see how a project manager can handle a change request.

Change Log Excel Template

A change log or a change register is a document used in project management to capture all the changes that have been requested after the initial kick-off – it is a vital part change management process. It is widespread to get requests to make changes to software or scope during a typical project. A project manager must track and ensure that all the changes are addressed as part of project change management. Everybody involved in the project should be aware of the changes requested and their current status. If changes are not managed properly, then the tasks are bound to fail.

It is for a project manager to get influenced by one of the parties involved in the project who want a change in the project. Provides a structured way of capturing change requests, which form part of good governance. Provides a clear audit trail as all the changes will be captured in one place with additional details like decision status and date. This is very helpful, especially in long-running projects. As everything is in one place, anyone can access the document, which provides transparency. The changes log can be shared or reported as part of the project status report, which helps in stakeholder management. Once you a list of change requests, you can also easily prioritize.

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Change Log Template

Key Elements of Change Log

A change log should contain all the information required to track and manage change requests. Other than the necessary information about the project like name and project manager name, a change log should contain the following. Change ID – a unique incremental ID for each change request logged. It can be any if any format you want. Examples include – CR001, CHANGE001, or simply 001. This must be unique as the change ID will be referenced whenever the change request is discussed.

Change Description – This is a simple description of the change request. This description should be short and straightforward. People should be able to understand what the change is about when this description is mentioned. Examples are “Additional Screen Option,” “Secure Email Configuration,” etc. Requester – is the name of the person or team who requested the change. Date raised – is the date when this change request was submitted. Decision and decision date – the decision can be either Approved, declined, or on hold depending on the decision made for the change request. The decision date was the date when the decision was made. Comments – is a general field that can be used to enter comments.

How to Make Your Change Management Effective

Any change, even the smallest one, affects the employees and should be carried out with sensitivity. A small token is often a good idea to minimize the stress associated with changes. This can be a new piece of equipment (chair, desk, etc.), a plant, or a thumb drive. A change should be treated like any other project and should have a high-level timeline, a detailed work plan, and a risk matrix. If the company has a union, it should be considered a key stakeholder in change management.

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Most people associate changes with the firing of employees. If none are planned, this should be made very clear at the start of the project. Remember that you will face resistance when you are following the change management process because people want to get things done without going through the documentation or without making it public. As a project manager, it is your responsibility to make sure that any decision regarding the changes is taken by appropriate people most transparently.

Change Management Pack